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If you have children in diapers, do you ever feel that you do not have enough diapers to change them as often as you would like?
If you answered yes to that question, you are not alone. In a study of 877 women, that was published in Pediatrics in 2013 almost 30% of women answered yes. In addition to lacking sufficient diapers to care for their children, that diaper need was the leading cause of mental health issues in new moms.
More stressful than not having a place to live or food to eat.
Why We Need to Do Something About the Diaper Need
On average, infants use about 240 diapers a month. A year’s supply of diapers costs $936, or $18 per week. For a single parent working full-time at a minimum wage job, diapers consume >6% of their income. And while many of these families qualify for SNAP and WIC that will assist low-income families, neither of those programs cover necessities such as diapers or wipes.
That’s 5.3 Million babies and toddlers who are affected by the diaper need. In the study done by Pediatrics, parents reported different methods that they used to “stretch” the diapers use. Methods such as attempting to air-dry diapers, or letting kids sit in their diapers longer than recommended — practices that lead to UTI’s and other infections.
The diaper need goes beyond hurting parents self-worth and children’s well-being: Many daycare centers require a week worth of diapers in order for parents to enroll their children. Without the required diapers parents are limited in their ability to drop their kids off to look for work or go to their job.